A Visual History of the 65th Infantry Regiment

Book Launch in Newark of New Photo Book Highlights the History of a Famed Puerto Rican Regiment

Newark, New Jersey

Like an obsessed woman on a mission, documentary filmmaker Noemí Figueroa Soulet spent her days during the pandemic quarantine constantly on the phone.  “I’m looking for old photographs of the 65th Infantry Regiment”, she told Pedro Collazo in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Pedro’s father, Fernando L. Collazo had served as a lieutenant with the segregated unit during World War II. “I have a leather-bound album with hundreds of photos that my father took when he was with the 65th”, said Pedro.  Noemi’s eyes lit up.

Some of these rare photographs are now part of The Borinqueneers, A Visual History of the 65th Infantry Regiment (El Pozo Prods., October 1, 2022, $39.99), a new book being launched at Newark Public Library’s Hispanic Research and Information Center, James Brown African American Room, 5 Washington Street in Newark on Saturday, October 29th at 2:00pm.  The event is free and open to the public, but registration is advised by calling (973) 733–4791.

This inspiring collection featuring more than 700 traces the glorious history of this regiment, the only Hispanic-segregated unit in U.S. Army history comprised primarily of Puerto Ricans. Written and compiled by Noemí Figueroa Soulet, producer of the award-winning PBS documentary film The Borinqueneers, the event will include a brief presentation by the author of the regiment’s more than 123 years of service from its origins in 1899 through its service in World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

The author explains “This book was a natural extension to my film which also profiled their history because I had been accumulating these photographs from the veterans and their families, as well as from other public and private sources, for the past 23 years.“ 

The unit’s trajectory comes to life in the book as they train and fight in Puerto Rico, Panama, Europe and Korea, with historical content and veteran quotes to provide an in-depth perspective about the contributions of one of the country’s last segregated military units.  The regiment’s soldiers were known as “The Borinqueneers”, a derivative of the indigenous name for the island of Puerto Rico.  It wasn’t until the Korean War that the regiment was finally allowed to see extensive combat and where they were praised by Gen. Douglas MacArthur as “writing a brilliant record of achievement in battle.”  In 2014, the regiment was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for its service.

“On its own, it is a marvelous book and great photo collection.  But besides that, it makes a great complement to The Borinqueneers film,” said Brig. Gen. (Ret.) David Carrión Baralt, former Adjutant General of the Puerto Rico National Guard, “It puts in perspective the participation of the 65th Infantry Regiment in the Korean War, documenting the historic provenance of the unit and the aftermath of its action in combat.”

Noemí believes that this bilingual book, written in English and Spanish, will provide an important visual documentation of the regiment’s valiant service to our country.

The book will also be available for purchase at www.borinqueneers.com, Amazon and other retailers.

To receive an editorial review digital copy, reporters can email contact@borinqueneers.com.

About Noemí Figueroa Soulet

Noemí Figueroa Soulet is the Executive Producer of El Pozo Productions which produced the PBS documentary film The Borinqueneers, winner of the 2012 Military Channel Award at the GI Film Festival. For more than 23 years she has kept the legacy of the regiment alive by conducting presentations at corporations, universities, military facilities and community organizations; recording veteran interviews and preserving archival photographs. Born in Puerto Rico, she is a graduate of New York University and resides in Kissimmee, Florida.

The Borinqueneers, A Visual History of the 65th Infantry Regiment

By Noemí Figueroa Soulet

El Pozo Productions — October 1, 2022

ISBN 13: 979-8-218-00184-1 – $39.99 — Hardcover

Media Contact:

El Pozo Productions                      contact@borinqueneers.com

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